I have been working the past week at UK PR company Portland Communications (in the Chrysler Building no less – very New Yorky).
Richmond, the American International University, has just recruited 20 of America’s rising soccer stars to join the world’s first university soccer degree course in the UK and with USA having drawn England in their opening World Cup game, Richmond came to Portland looking to capitalize on the buzz and get some publicity for their fledging course.
As part of those lucky enough to be the first recruited, include players from: Boston, NY, San Antonio, Reno, Malibu, Fairfax, Minnesota, Stamford and NJ.
I organized a photo shoot with Queens NY recruit Akil Howard at the Queens Flushing Meadows soccer grounds and we were lucky enough to have a full-page spread in Monday 21 June NY Post.
You can see the article here, as well as a wider Media Release I drafted and sent to 120 targeted sport/education media.
American soccer teenagers join the world’s first soccer program that features a university degree
United Kingdom, June 18, 2010: AMERICA’S next generation of David Beckham’s have joined the world’s first international business university degree imbedded in a world class soccer program in the UK, following the USA’s spectacular draws against England and Slovenia in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
The cream of America’s soccer teenagers, are set to train for a career as professional soccer stars in Leeds, UK, within a unique program known as The International Academic and Soccer Academy (IASA/Richmond) which works in association with Richmond – the American International University, a four-year private American university located in London, UK. America’s next generation of soccer stars will have the benefit of learning and playing the truly global game in the country that invented soccer, while simultaneously earning a dually accredited (both in the US and UK) university degree.
Brian Haley as the head of IASA/Richmond International scouting said: “The players watched last Saturday’s match against England’s stars like Wayne Rooney – knowing they could be representing the USA in the next World Cup in four years’ time in Brazil. With the kind of intensive training we offer at IASA/Richmond, the USA is poised to continue to strengthen their growing national team and continue with the success they displayed so far at the World Cup.”
At IASA/Richmond, the students will play against some of the world’s most talented youngsters who have already been signed by international teams like Manchester United, Sunderland, Leeds United, and Middlesbrough.
They will be coached in soccer by former English Premier League player Mark Ellis, who played 14 years for Bradford City. Mark has coached in the USA, South Africa and the UK and is considered one of the best coaches for developing young talent.
The course teaches soccer skills in the same way as a player studying at a club academy, but also tutors in diet, nutrition, mental, technical and physical training. There is huge emphasis on international business and globalization with the third and fourth years focusing on international business. Students will be fully qualified for a career in business once they have moved on from soccer.
The course is jointly run by Richmond and the International Academic and Soccer Academy.
The university is recognized in the USA by Middle States Commission on Higher Education.